Learn The Basics Of Personal Injury

Posted on April 10th, 2018
By Steven Gursten

personal injury basics

Personal injury law allows a person who has been injured to go to civil court and get a legal remedy for losses. These losses may stem from an auto accident or other kind of incident involving injury.

The legal purpose is to compensate the injured party financially, or to make that person “whole” after suffering due to someone else’s intentional or negligent conduct.

If you think you’re the victim of purposeful or careless acts of another, and you’ve been harmed, you should know the basics of personal injury so you can begin to navigate a solution with the help of a personal injury lawyer


Personal injury as related to accidents is where someone harms someone else out of negligence. Common examples of this type of personal injury include car accidents, medical malpractice, and slip and fall incidents, among other situations.

Intentional Conduct

The personal injury legal system also takes into account situations in which a defendant’s intentional acts cause harm to another. This might include scenarios like assault and battery or other types of intentional actions.

Defective Products

Some personal injury situations involve defendants who are found liable for harm to another even though there wasn’t any negligence or intentional conduct. These situations include some kinds of product liability claims that arise from defective items.


Many people don’t realize that personal injury laws apply to defamatory statements by a person if it causes harm to another’s reputation.

Personal Injury Laws

A number of our current personal Injury laws date back to the old “common law rules.” These rules or laws refer to law that are made by judges, instead of laws made by various legislatures or passed by statute and bills.

Judges often hear and decide cases and then make decisions on those issues, which then become law. The law is then binding and precedent for all other lower courts in the state. These lower courts must apply what the higher judge said, thus creating a body of “common law.”

Common law differs from one state to another, so personal injury laws from state to state are not uniform. Much common law is collected into a Restatement of Torts, which is a guidebook of sorts explaining the various rules. Many states refer to this guide when looking at personal injury situations.

Some states don’t merely look at common law when deciding on personal injury cases. They also turn to statutory law or formal legislation that has been passed. As an example, legislatures have passed workers’ compensation laws to take personal injury out of the realm of employer-directed lawsuits and alternatively keep it within the remedy of the workers’ compensation system.

Examples of How a Personal Injury Case Works

No accident is the same, therefore no personal injury cases will play out the same way. There are some standard steps you can expect from most personal injury cases however, including:

  • Defendant acts in some way to injure plaintiff
  • Plaintiff determines defendant breached some kind of legal duty
  • Settlement talks take place

If the plaintiff and defendant agree to a settlement, that’s the end of the case. If not, a court case may be necessary.

If you think you’ve been the victim of personal injury, a Taos Injury Lawyer in your state may be able to help you. Fill out the contact form on this page for a consultation.

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